Possibly, only music lovers across the Atlantic will know of the great melodic hard rock band, Alliance. I frankly knew nothing of their history until I heard they were reuniting for a new studio release in 2008, ten years after their self-titled debut. The core of the band remains the same: Robert Berry (Hush, GTR, Ambrosia), Gary Pihl (Boston, Sammy Hagar), David Lauser (Sammy Hagar) and Alan 'Fitz' Fitzgerald (Nightranger). Berry also recorded an album with Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer under the name of 3 in 1988. Without doubt these men have some serious pedigrees and with one listen to 'Road To Heaven,' you will hear that they are fine musicians and song craftsmen.
Without having heard their previous efforts, I had to go on instinct as I listened to 'Road To Heaven.' My first thoughts took me back to Bad English, the John Waite fronted band of the the late 80's. In a sense, Robert Berry has that loose yet extremely clear vocal style that Waite exemplified. And on certain songs I hear that same powerful and melodic arena rock sound; songs like 'Road To Heaven,' Comin' Home,' and 'We Don't Talk.' So those were my first impressions; and now I can put my comparisons aside. On a whole, Alliance's 'Road To Heaven,' is a solid work of dramatic and melodic hard rock from first to last. I was never bored for one moment. This is a tight band with strong abilities in song composition and musicianship. I could easily mention something notable about each song simply because they are all that good. However, let point out a few more great cuts. 'I Can Breathe' is a breathtaking number for it's great vocal harmonies and ripping guitar work. Berry is simply remarkable on 'Like Me Like That' with his soaring vocals and enthusiastic interjections in the right moments. On 'Comin' Home,' my favorite song, the whole band delivers with a driving rock number loaded with vocal and instrumental excitement. 'Not Done Til It's Done' is a thoroughly clever and memorable piece only because the music is so unique: a great mix of keyboards with a phenomenal rhythm section and again terrific vocals from Berry.
Alliance's 'Road To Heaven' is a colossal album of great significance: great songs, riffs, vocals: just simply excellent melodic hard rock. It doesn't get any better than this. Escape Music still publishes two of their three previous albums. I must add them to my back catalogue. Until then, I encourage you to find and buy 'Road To Heaven' without delay. You will not be disappointed. Very highly recommended!
Alliance's 'Road To Heaven' is a first class, fully loaded work of great melodic hard rock. Robert Berry excels and surprises on vocals and the whole band performs like a well-oiled machine. Every song is large and exciting. This is simply great music!
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